One of the child abuse victims whose story inspired Spotlight has praised the filmmakers over their handling of the sensitive subject matter.

Phil Saviano was molested by a Catholic priest as a youngster and he later helped a team of Boston Globe journalists break a story about child abuse within the church.

The 63 year old is played by actor Neal Huff in the movie, which is directed by Tom McCarthy and features an all-star cast of Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, and Stanley Tucci.

Spotlight has become an awards season favourite in recent weeks.


It is tipped as a potential Best Picture winner at the upcoming Academy Awards, and Saviano is adamant the cast and crew deserve recognition for their work on behalf of abuse victims.

"It's unbelievable... The film's getting fantastic reviews and all sorts of awards..." he told Sky News in the UK.

"This film is very inspiring, but it's also... very educational...There are four abuse victims who are represented in the film but there are all portrayed as adults, there are no recreations of child abuse... I know that some people are concerned about coming away from the film disturbed about what they see but it's really not that kind of movie at all.

"It certainly has a happy ending... Things end on a very good note with the bishops being exposed and the victims coming forward and feeling validated.

"I don't think anybody should shy away from seeing it."